Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

The Amazing Spider-Man

Was I one of the people who believed that this reboot was unnecessary? Yes. And guess what, I was right. Did it manage to be different from the previous Spider-Man films? Yes, it did. It went for a more serious tone with a more awkward and socially inept Peter Parker. Were these differences a benefit to the franchise? No they were not.

Its going to be really hard not to compare the new film to the Raimi films, so I’m not even going to bother trying to avoid it. Lets start with what worked, which mainly exists within the acting categories (not including Andrew Garfield, but I’ll get there in a second). I thought Martin Sheen was great as Uncle Ben, and I loved Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, always looking forward to her scenes to finally give this film some flavour. I believe that she is one of the most charismatic and likable actresses working today.

However performances alone do not a good film make. The makers of this movie decided to go with a more serious tone and tried to make the plot more logical and believable. For example, having a whole conspiracy plot around Peter’s parents (which goes nowhere by the way) in order to explain his origins rather than having him just randomly be bit by a spider. However, when the plot does need to revolve around coincidences or goofier aspects, such as the crane engineer who coordinates a dozen cranes because spiderman saved his son earlier, it makes them stand out that much more. I feel like the more jovial spirit of Raimi’s films work better for Spider-man, which is why this failed trying to do the same thing Batman Begins succeeded at.

Also, this movie was really long and slow. While we retread old origin ground (which, lets face it, was only slightly tweaked), it took a long time for anything to actually happen. And when things did happen, it still didn’t take off, it just slowed down again until the next minor peak. At least the earlier movies had some sense of fun and enjoyment. And heart for that matter.

But the less obvious yet bigger problem with this movie is how inconsistant it is. Particularily with the character of Peter Parker. It didn’t feel like either the screenwriters or Garfield had a handle on who this Parker was supposed to be. At one point he’s angry and spiteful, at others hes an incredibly awkward teenager (with very obvious calculated awkward quirks), and others he’s a smooth operating ladies man. Oh yeah, and then there’s the “small knives” wise-cracking scene which seems very out-of-character. He’s all over the board.

Not to mention that but the character motivations of both Spider-Man and the Lizard are very murky, to say the least. Okay yes, the plot points are there; Spider-man seeks his Uncle’s killer, Lizard wants his arm back. But unlike Raimi’s Spider-man, I never felt the motivation. It made me realize how great a job Raimi did with Spider-Man’s character arc, where are this arc felt almost non-existent. The transition of the character was extremely inorganic and as such I felt no connection.
I would have to call this a misfire. 5/10

3 Responses to “The Amazing Spider-Man”

  1. Nice review.

    I haven’t seen this one, and based on the reviews I’ve read (this included) it doesn’t sound like I’m missing much. Spiderman is one of my all time favorite superheroes, and a serious tone just doesn’t fit his character. I don’t want Batman Begins when I’m watching Spiderman. I want to hear jokes being cracked at the villains. I want teenage awkwardness mixed with that need to protect his loved ones. That’s what makes Spidey great.

  2. I think you are a little harsh on this film. I think Garfield’s Spiderman is a much more accurate and better representation of the comic book character than Maguire’s ever was. There are light moments and great humour. It isn’t as light-hearted as Raimi’s Spiderman but there is still a good balance of humour as he “discovers” his powers and meets Gwen’s family.

    It is probably too dark to represent the Spiderman from the comics completely but that character isn’t exactly the lightest. He makes silly jokes and has comical mishaps but there is a lot of dark material there too. I thought this did a great job of relaunching a series that became so light hearted it had Peter Parker dance down the street!

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